The Bleeding Lamb
Sacramental Meditation XXVIII
By John Willison, Practical Works (London: Blackie & Son, 1844), 284-5; minimally edited.

“Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood” (Rev 1:5a).

The love of Christ in becoming man, and shedding His blood to ransom and save sinners of mankind will be the eternal song of the redeemed above, and why not begin this song here below! Never was there such matter for songs of praise as the unfathomable love of Jesus. His name is love; and therefore it is to me as ointment poured forth. I will remember His love more than wine. His nature is love, His words and actions were love, He preached and practised love; He lived in love, was sick of love, and died for love. Oh what thoughts should I have of this free and undeserved love of the glorious Son of God, who was entreated by no man, and even hated of all men; yet in His free love entreats and undertakes for man, saying, Though He be my enemy, I will be both His surety and sacrifice, I will drink the cup of wrath, be made sin and a curse for him. I will pour out all my blood and die for him. Oh how shall I speak of His astonishing love to thy enemies! To have spared our lives had been great mercy, but to give Thy life for ours is love unspeakable! Oh! Lord, thou hast found me in enmity, and loved me! When my hand was lifted up against thee, thy arms were open to embrace! Nay, thou hast opened Thy loving heart to shelter rebels who trod thee underfoot! Thy heart burned with love to them who cruelly pierced it! Thy bowels yearned towards those that raked in them with bloody hands! Surely eternity itself will be short enough to celebrate the praises of our glorious Emmanuel, who loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood. Worthy is our slain, bleeding Lamb, of eternal hallelujahs from men and angels. Lord, fit my heart for these new songs.

Oh never was there such a miracle of condescending love to the sons of men, as this of the eternal Son of God, His becoming man to suffer for them, and pour out His blood to wash them from sin that kindles hell-fire against them. Glory to the Lamb for His fire-quenching blood, and for His preventing love that kept me from feeling this fire!  
 
Oh how would this love have affected me, if justice had sent me to hell, and kept me there one year, or one month, or but one day! Surely, one day in hell would have made me prize and praise redeeming love and redeeming blood at another rate than now I do. Or had I seen the damned in their misery, despairing and without hope! Or had I seen my agonising Saviour in the garden sweating blood for me; or seen Him dying on the cross, pouring it out to the very last drop, to wash away sin! Oh would not I then have valued the great remedy and salvation He now tenders to me! And is not all this which I now hear in the word, and see represented in the sacrament, as true, as real, and certain, as if I had seen it with my eyes?

And now when I go to behold Christ dying and bleeding in this holy representation, even the Lamb of God slaughtered for my sins; Lord, touch my heart that it may be suitably affected with the sight, so as intensely to love my blessed Saviour, and to hate my cursed sins. Oh how should I be covered with shame and loathe myself, who have both procured the death of Christ by sin, and sinned against His death, by slighting His blood and neglecting His great salvation. Oh! I am chargeable both with the guilt of Christ’s blood, and of murdering my own soul. Oh pardon and “deliver me from blood guiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation.”

My sins have indeed shed the blood of Christ, but, Lord, impute not the guilt, but the merit of this blood to me. Lord, what profit is there in my blood? Surely the least drop of thy dear Son’s blood is of more value than a sea of mine. A whole sea of it cannot wash away one sin, but, Lord, thou callest me to look into the Lamb’s blood that taketh away the sins of the world. Oh, is not this blood more powerful to wash me, than my sins are to defile me? Is not its virtue as fresh still as when it dropped from His wounds on the tree, or in the day when it cleansed three thousand at once? Is not thy Son’s blood a sufficient satisfaction for all my sins, a full price for my redemption? Oh my soul, thou art now near the blessed remedy for thy guilt and pollution; this is the only well of salvation, and fountain of life! Oh canst thou see Christ’s blood running, and not desire to be bathed in it! Now the cleansing and healing streams run on both sides of the table; now let me apply and live, let me bring all my sores and plagues to the streams, my blind eyes, my deaf ears, my weak hands, my feeble knees, my hard heart, my cold affections, my unbelieving and doubting mind, my leprous and unclean soul. Lord, this blood has washed away the plague spots, and stains of many thousands, who are now praising the Lamb for it. Oh, let me be joined to the number, that I may also sing to Him that loved and washed me.

O bleeding Lamb, “if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.” Oh let that blood, which gushed from thy heart and side, but drop on my soul, and it will cleanse me from all sin. And when thou art pleased to come to me in the sacrament in streams of blood, Oh raise me up, that I may meet thee with streams of tears, tears of repentance, love, and gratitude. Oh let me not be more sparing of my tears for Christ, than He was of His blood for me. David’s kindness made even a hardhearted Saul lift up His voice and weep, and will not Christ’s kindness, which is infinitely greater, make me drop at least some silent tears?

Oh how dreadful a thing must it be to reject this remedy! Surely justice will not spare them that trample underfoot the blood of the Son of God. If justice was inexorable when He himself prayed, “if it be possible, let this cup pass;” how will He spare me, or hear the cry of those who reject His blood and sacrifice? How is it possible that the cup of wrath can pass from them who do it? No, they must drink it forever themselves! Lord, save me from rejecting this blood. “I believe, Lord, help my unbelief.”